For a number of months I have been focused on what many believe to be serious problems here in Franklin County; strategic planning for economic development, management/maintenance of facilities, conduct of officials, the preservation of historical documents, and the general posture and direction we are going in.
I did not just wake up one morning and pick these topics. Some of you shared your thoughts with me and asked I consider speaking to them in this column.
From the outset I knew there would be some animosity and blow back as I pursued this, but did not think it would rise to the level it has.
As of late most local officials treat me like a relative that is trying to borrow money from them. Cordial, when I see them, but “sorry I have to go”.
I have been cautioned that large sums of money and people’s jobs are involved with this, and I should be mindful what I was doing could be dangerous.
Note to self, check for strange wires before starting car.
I never considered what I was doing to be dangerous, but upon reflection I guess it could be if someone were trying to hide something and thought they were about to be exposed.
I am very confident that if such a condition exists it is isolated, not some grand conspiracy, and if it were known to most others in leadership they would expose it. I know some will say I am naïve.
The truth is, most involved in our local government are good and honorable people.
To say the least what I found is both shocking and disheartening. It however did not support the charge many make that corruption is pervasive.
My review did however bring overall competence into question. Boy I can hear it now; “there I go again attacking people”.
Well sports fans slow down a bit, this is not an attack. The facts are what they are. Collectively either many people know what they are doing and they are not good at it, or they have no idea what they are doing and are trying.
I have not asked hard or even unreasonable questions. Any competent diligent leader, manager, or supervisor would ask the same questions in the conduct of their duties.
Unequivocally I can tell you there are people that are not being held accountable. It has, and will continue to cost you money unless it is addressed. I am not talking about a few dollars, the numbers are staggering.
Now please think about this for a minute. Why does this condition exist?
As it relates to our current county commissioners, are they all just bad people, no of course not. Most are good people dealing with difficult issues, and are making sacrifices to serve our community. It is important that we always remember this.
Let us examine how we select most officials. It has very little to do with ability, and much more to do with popularity, personality, and a sales pitch. We elect these people the same way high school kids pick a prom queen.
Then when elected, they are then expected to do what amounts to a full time important job with part time hours.
Does it make sense to pick our leaders this way?
Many currently in office hold down full time jobs, it is how they feed their families. When it comes right down to it where do you think the priority is? Where would your priority be?
This said, I am not making excuses for them. They ran for the office because they wanted the job, now they are expected to do the job.
By the way it’s the same way we pick our national leaders, and look at that mess. So Franklin County is not unique.
I had a conversation with someone in authority recently and posed this question. Given what I have exposed why is it simply just not acted on? After all I did not make reckless charges. I supported what I offered with facts.
I was told the perception may be I was just being seen as an irritant. That many people work very hard and are tired of hearing the negative. I guess to a point I can understand this. However, perception is not always reality. The facts are what they are; if it is wrong fix it. Three day old fish do not smell better on the fourth day.
It is easy to shoot the messenger if you do not like the message. This reminds me of a story I heard about a scout that shot a runner after he had delivered a dispatch.
The question: why did you shoot him? The answer: because I could. The captain asked, “Do I have any volunteers? It appears we need a new runner”.
Humm, I wonder why so few people attend meetings?
Where do we go from here? Tell me what you want to read about. Email me at SteveTrubilla@paperbullets.us.